Governor Walker set to announce health care exchange decision Friday

Governor Walker set to announce health care exchange decision Friday

By Jon Byman & WTMJ News Team. CREATED Nov 15, 2012 - UPDATED: Nov 15, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Governor Walker is set to announce Friday morning whether Wisconsin will set up its own health care exchange, or let the federal government set one up for us.

The Journal Sentinel reports that it appears that Governor Walker will not pursue a state health care exchange.

Health care exchanges are a key piece of President Obama's new health care law.  "I think the way to think about this is sort of like a supermarket," said Sarah Davis, a health care expert with the UW Law School in Madison.

Davis says the exchanges are a central place where insurance companies will offer coverage for individuals.  People who want health insurance will work with the exchange to find a plan that's right for them and buy it.

Conceptually, it sounds sort of like what happens when you make yearly elections at an employer that offers multiple health care plans.

There are pros and cons to the state setting up its own plan.  "I think some of the reasons a state might want to run an exchange is that they have control over the regulation of the insurance companies and the products that are offered in the exchange," Davis said.

On the flip side it's a lot of work.  "So we might decide that we've got other priorities to focus on."